|Podrán cortar todas las flores pero no acabarán con la primavera|
--they can cut all the flowers but they won't do away with spring--
|Lapachos in bloom|
I wonder how long I'd have to live in the southern hemisphere for September to mean springtime to me. I do associate September with beginnings-- new school year, time for plans, goals, agendas, new projects. But there's also a sense of the year winding down, the days getting shorter, rain on the horizon and then in your shoes.
But here in Rosario, people are gearing up for spring. The last of the winter merchandise is heavily marked down. Changes in the bus schedule are announced. It seems the first day of spring is also a day off of school-- and, according to this morning's paper, the September 21 date is also a mistake, an inexact transfer by immigrants from the northern hemisphere, so that the spring equinox they were accustomed to (March 21) was transposed to September. What went wrong? The equinox is actually on the 22nd or 23rd in this hemisphere, varying slightly year to year.
Seasons don't arrive on schedule anyway, whatever the calendar says, or ought to say. The weather has been cooperatively variable (read spring-like, in my seasonal experience): sunny but not too hot; then a full day of warmish, muggy rain; then cold, dusty wind under a gray sky, days I've worn sunglasses as safety goggles to protect against dust instead of glare. The grass in the parks looks worn, almost threadbare, reflecting a lack of rain. There are birds' eggs broken all over the sidewalks, and doves are trying to nest on my air-conditioner, or under it. And though I don't know if palm trees change at all from spring to fall--they always look the same to me--the lapachos are blooming.
Lapachos apparently come in several colors, but so far I've only seen pink. The trees bloom before they leaf out, big, bundled, trumpety blossoms. They're here and there throughout the city, they line a couple of the downtown streets, preside over the park next to the maternity hospital a few blocks away. Sharing a cab with several new friends the other day, I asked the name of the pink flowering trees we passed, and the other women all agreed: seeing the lapachos in bloom was how they knew it was really spring.
|View from Davis Silos (MACRO contemporary art museum)|
The trees are beautiful. The sunshine today was delicious. Still, in my gut, it feels like fall. Something about taking the girl out of the season but not getting the season out of the girl. Maybe if I were here for a full round of seasons, it would feel different.